The Guardian Project – NHL Superheroes


The mind reels.  The mind boggles.  The mind hops up and runs away.

The NHL has partnered with Stan Lee to create “The Guardian Project” – a line of hockey superheroes and the endeavor is supposed to encompass action figures, comic books, clothing and possibly even venture into TV and movieland. 

Wait! Brain! Come back!  I’m sorry I’m making you contemplate this abomination!  It’ll be over soon, I promise!

Does no one in the NHL remember a horrific cartoon programme about superhero Ducks?  How poorly conceived and stunningly badly it was executed?

Right now, McFarlane has the right approach, tastefully created collectibles depicting actual players in cool action poses. 

Who exactly will The Guardian’s battle if they’re all superheroes?  Will Gary Bettman be the equivalent of The Emperor from Star Wars and the linesmen and referees his Sith minions?

I know exactly what will happen once the characters are officially revealed.  Most of us will shout a collective “Hey, they look pretty cool!  Which one is my team?” and then we’ll go back to watching actual hockey.  Some of us will purchase as many as we can afford in order to get them autographed and resell on Ebay for ten times their worth.  A few will purchase their favourite team(s) for display in their office or home or for their kids and an even fewer few will buy one of each and hang the unopened blisterpacks on their bedroom walls.

Will kids have fun with the action figures?  Of course they will, they’re kids!  But the target market nowadays are the fanboys and girls who make the annual trip to the mecca that is the San Diego Comicon and are willing to pay too much for stuff they’ll never touch.  That’s where the REAL money is and hardly anyone ever talks about it because it’s supposedly insulting to the collectors.

No it isn’t.  Endeavors like this are 100% exploitative and the fans should be insulted, not excited.

If you don’t believe me, go read what other writers are saying about the whole misguided idea.  The jokes already abound and the official website has all the subtlety and wit of a WWE cage match.

According to a quote from this website: “Each superhero is based on a team’s mascot or their city, so the Anaheim Ducks’ hero ‘wears a wet suit and wields a spear while riding a surfboard.’” 

And here are some golden reader comments from the Puck Daddy website:

“I’m pretty sure the Maple Leafs superhero’s power is going to be a super Heimlich maneuver so he can prevent his team from choking all the time. He also might have time travel abilities so he can take you back to a point when the Leafs were relevant.”

“Do they fight for the Stan Lee Cup?”

“Hmm, wonder what’s next? Comparing NHL teams to professional wrestlers? Oh wait….”

“Is Bettman the Professor X of the group and their enemy is Jim Balsille?”

…and my personal fave…

“Bitten by a radioactive maple leaf, teenager Conn Mahovlich has lived his life believing that with great truculence comes great responsibility.”

Am I being too harsh?  Actually, I don’t think I’m being harsh enough.  If you check out your comic hero history, you will discover that Stan Lee couldn’t figure out exactly how all the X-Men got their powers, so he lazily just decided they would be “mutants” that just somehow came into existence for no particular reason.

I love comics and superheroes and all the encompassing mythos, but that type of attitude sucks.

If you have a rebuttal, please please please comment!  Just leave out the f-bombs and other four-letter-words.  The better you argue your case, the more respect you’ll get as opposed to merely posting “You suck!”  If you’re a superfan and are 100% behind this idea, then convince me that I’m wrong.